YORKVILLE — Several weeks after a trailer appeared on the planned worksite of a controversial waste transfer station, new construction signs have been quietly added — further alarming neighbors who are concerned about the project.
Some worry that the $240 million garbage depot on East 91st street poses a public health hazard — and that the city isn't doing enough to keep them in the loop about developments.
Construction on the project was scheduled to start by the beginning of January and has not yet begun, but a large sign describing the project recently appeared.
That poster reads: "The existing East 91st Marine Transfer Station will be replaced with a new and modern facility for transferring solid waste from collection vehicles into sealed leak-proof containers in an enclosed indoor space. The sealed containers will be taken on barges from this location to a sanitary waste disposal site. This new facility is part of the New York City Long Term Export Program oriented to improve and enhance waste management efforts for a clean and healthy City."
In addition, Skanska — the main contractor building the marine transfer station — recently tacked a sign bearing the company's name on a construction trailer at the site, neighbors said.
The new signs caught the attention of the project's opponents, who have filed state and federal lawsuits in a long-standing fight to block the waste-transfer station. Opponents argue that the station, which is adjacent to the Asphalt Green Athletic Fields, would clog the residential neighborhood with garbage trucks and release toxic fumes.
"Whenever there is activity by the ramp [leading to the site], residents are really concerned and contact us right away," said Asbjorn Finsnes, executive director of station opposition group Residents for Sane Trash Solutions. "The recent development certainly fired up the community. We have had an outpouring of reactions. Residents are volunteering their services on unprecedented levels."
City officials previously said that the project was on track to break ground by Jan. 1, 2013, but they have not given a recent update.
"Public notification regarding the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station has been extensive and is being handled no differently than any other City public building project," a city representative said in an email. "The project timeline has not changed."